The Solomon Islands is a sovereign nation in Oceania. Located in the Pacific Ocean east of Papua New Guinea, the country is made up of an archipelago that includes six major islands and 900 smaller ones. The islands have been inhabited for thousands of years. The Solomon Islands cover an area of 28,400 square km and had an estimated population of 599,419 people in 2016.
What Is the Capital of the Solomon Islands and Where Is it Located?
Honiara is the seat of the government of the Solomon Islands. The city is located on Guadalcanal Island's northwestern coast, along the Kukum Highway, which connects the city to Honiara International Airport. The Matanikau River flows through the city. The city covers an area of 22 square km and has a population of 84,520 people. Honiara experiences a tropical rainforest climate.
History of the Capital of the Solomon Islands
Few recorded accounts of the history of Honiara exist. During World War II, the 1942 Battle of Henderson Field occurred near the city. The battle was fought between the United States and Japanese forces. During the battle, the US added modern infrastructure to help defend the city. In 1952, the newly developed Honiara was designated as the capital of the Solomon Islands British Protectorate. Further economic and infrastructural growth of the city followed, but the population grew at a slow rate. Creole cultures soon emerged in Honiara and Pijin became the most popular language spoken in the city. When the Solomon Islands gained independence in 1978, the city was declared as the capital. Since the mid 1990s, ethnic clashes and political unrest have occurred in Honiara. Several riots and murders have left many homeless and negatively impacted the tourism industry.
Current Role of the Capital of the Solomon Islands
As capital of the Solomon Islands, Honiara contains many of the country's important government buildings, such as the National Parliament. Some of the country’s best educational institutions are also located here, and several churches dot the city since the population here is predominantly Christian. Honiara is the country’s hub for tourist activities and the headquarters of private and government tour agencies of the Solomon Islands are primarily located here. Several banks operate in the city. The Port at Honiara provides anchorage facilities for ships. However, the violence in the city since the late 1990s has had a devastating impact on the nation’s economy.